Re: Lanier essay of 2001.12.04

From: Ben Damm (
Date: Mon Dec 10 2001 - 12:23:44 MST

Dossy <> wrote:
> However, purely looking at reproductive success from a Darwinian
> standpoint ... those females who bred with any male (non-posessive)
> probably had more reproductive success, if you measure reproductive
> success as "producing offspring that live long enough to produce
> offspring" ...

Perhaps this is a bit of a tangent..

How can we measure reproductive success solely on the basis of whether
offspring live long enough to produce offspring? For social
creatures, whether offspring survive is greatly influenced by the
social environment in which they are brought up in and survive in.
Thus, all adults in a community, whether they've had offspring or not,
whether they are possessive or not, influence the reproductive success
of any given member of the group. Each member is trained and cared
for in the social environment of their ancestors, who in turn are part
of the social environment that trains and cares for their successors.
Sound recursive? Fractal geometry anyone?

Putting the social influence into the equation helps evolution make
sense, and it helps make sense of the various "syndromes" and
"problems" researchers keep discovering have a genetic link. I'll be
blatant and pick three examples to help illustrate my point.
Asperger's Syndrome (because it's been in the news lately),
homosexuality (because it always seems to be a hot topic), and
sterility (because it doesn't make sense in a strictly
childbearing-drives-evolution model). Think of people with these
departures from the norm as support staff.


"But as we know, Buddhists too are made up only of non-Buddhist
elements" -- Thich Nhat Han

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat May 11 2002 - 17:44:25 MDT